Day Begins When Darkness Is in Full Bloom
In her powerful new collection of poems, Day Begins When Darkness Is in Full Bloom, Loretta Diane Walker takes us on harrowing journey, authenticated by striking and imaginative attentions-a testament to the strength of one woman's spirit faced with adversity, "the colliery of darkness," both physical and emotional, personal and cultural, local and historical. The range of these poems far exceeds their considerable force as personal narrative alone. "The sky is a mortuary for stars," she writes. "A lone bulb attempts to touch its round shadow." Here we find the play of a mercurial mind whose sober confrontation with mortality, illness, and marginalization moves seamlessly, with lyric inflection, toward understanding, affirmation, and an inclusiveness of vision and heart. A remarkable achievement.
- Bruce Bond
I am lucky to have met and heard Loretta Diane Walker read her poems on many occasions, so when I was reading this collection, I listened for a voice I knew well: a soft, precise lament, on the edge of tears, drenched continually by unexpected pain and grief, yet still rising again and again to the light of hope, most evident in what I have always admired in her craft, the original metaphor, unique to the poem, and to me, yet still apt, piercing in truth, shining like a familiar star in the ink of the night, just like, as she writes, the "faces of angels you can only see in darkness."
- Laurence Musgrove, author of Local Bird and
The Bluebonnet Sutras, editor of Texas Poetry Assignment.
I love these poems, these calculations of hope that emerge from a colliery of darkness fueled by cancer, racism, the pandemic and loss. I love how Loretta Diane Walker wrestles with the world as it is and emerges again and again with clear, rich poems that wash the soul in light. This is a collection of healing and hard-won hope. It opened me.
- Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, author of Hush and
Naked for Tea
The poems in Day Begins When Darkness Is in Full Bloom are informed by a deep grieving for both the lyric speaker's own personal suffering, and that of our larger world. We see in Loretta Walker's richly imagist poems human suffering in its many forms - whether that be one's growth into adulthood without the presence of a faithful parent, or the pain and uncertainty of a cancer patient's ongoing treatment, or the challenges each of us now face daily as we live in the midst of a global pandemic, or the individual and social turmoil engendered by racial bigotry, and its consequent injustices. Walker's is a necessary grief. It is the transformation of that grieving that